Cohort Studies

What are cohort studies and why are they important?

Key Points

  • Cohort studies are a type of longitudinal study in which a group of people with a common characteristic is followed over a time period to investigate predictive risk factors and health outcomes.
  • A cohort study investigates the incidence of disease in exposed and unexposed groups with the risk factors.
  • A cohort study is the most reliable type of observational study.

Helpful Links, Videos and Online Courses


  • What are Cohort Studies?
    • Describe basic concepts of cohort studies including strengths and limitations.
  • Cohort Studies
    • Overview of cohort study designs with various examples of prospective and retrospective cohort studies.
  • Cohort Studies
    • This University of North Carolina Gillins School of Global Public Health ‘ERIC Notebook’ introduces statistical analysis methods for cohort studies with various examples.


Online Courses

  • Cohort Studies
    • A series of videos are available (free access) through this program on different types of research methods and statistics.

Relevant Publications